Knowledge, attitudes and practices of parents/guardians of children with disabilities on abuse of children with disabilities, in the Willowvale area, Eastern Cape Province, South Africa

Wogqoyi, Mirriam Ntombesoka (Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2012-03)

Thesis (MPhil)--Stellenbosch University, 2012.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Child abuse is a problem worldwide and also a serious problem in South Africa. Recent statistics revealed an increase in reported cases. Incidence of abuse is difficult to determine accurately but there might be a million children involved annually (Berkow 1977: 1040). Available research indicates that disabled children across all types of disabilities are at a greater risk of all forms of abuse than non-disabled children. The causes of child abuse are complex and involve social factors. The general effect of poverty, unemployment, alcohol and drug abuse are likely to be associated with child abuse. In addition the disability and its effects on the child and family as well as wider societal views of disability exacerbates the risk for disabled children and make apprehending and bringing perpetrators to justice more difficult. But, the topic requires further exploration. Thus the study evolved with the aim to explore parents‟ and caregiver‟s knowledge, attitudes and practices towards the abuse of children with disabilities in the Willowvale area of the Eastern Cape of South Africa. A qualitative, descriptive study with a small quantitative component was done. The sample consisted of 24 participants, identified through snowball sampling, in five purposively sampled study areas in the Eastern Cape. Data was collected in March 2009 through a self-designed questionnaire that focused on knowledge of abuse and a focus group discussion in each site. Content analysis of data according to pre-determined themes was done. Results indicated low levels of knowledge on abuse as well as difficulties defining the concepts of disability and abuse. However, participants had a general awareness of the presence of abuse of children with disabilities and could provide many an example from personal experience. In addition participants indicated challenges with reporting of abuse such as being unsure what constitutes a criminal offence, what the lines and procedures of reporting are, being scared of the perpetrator and his or her family, being scared of losing social support and poor support from the police and legal system. It is recommended that customized education programs on disability and child abuse are developed and implemented for both parents of children with disabilities in the study communities as well as the communities at large. Developing and implementing these educational packages can be structured along community based rehabilitation guidelines. The current study participants can form the core group to represent children with disabilities. Implementation, monitoring and evaluation can be linked to local rehabilitation projects. In addition various local and provincial departments such as social services, health, education and safety and security must collaborate to develop and assist with implementing the education programs and materials.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Statistiek dui op `n toename in kindermishandeling. Die probleem kom wêreldwyd voor en neem ook in Suid Afrika ernstige afmetings aan. Spesifieke insidensiesyfers is moeilik bepaalbaar, maar dit wil voorkom asof `n miljoen gestremde kinders jaarliks mishandel word. Die risiko van mishandeling is groter vir gestremde kinders as vir nie-gestremde kinders. `n Komplekse interaksie tussen sosio- ekonomiese faktore soos armoede, werkloosheid, alkohol- en dwelmmisbruik kan dikwels met kindermishandeling geassosieer word. In die geval van gestremde kinders dra die effek van die gestremheid op die kind en familie, sowel as gemeenskappe se negatiewe houding teenoor gestremde kinders, by tot die risiko vir mishandeling en vergroot die uitdaging om die oortreder op te spoor en suksesvol te verhoor. Daar is egter steeds verskeie onduidelikhede oor die onderwerp en verder studie is nodig. Die huidige studie het beoog om ondersoek in te stel na die kennis, houdings en optrede van ouers en voogde van gestremde kinders in die Willowvale area van die Oos-Kaap, Suid-Afrika, ten opsigte van mishandeling van gestremde kinders. `n Kwalitatiewe beskrywende studie met `n klein kwantitatiewe komponent is gedoen Vier en twintig ouers of voogde van gestremde kinders uit vyf plekke in die Willowvale-gebied het aan die studie deelgeneem. Die studieplekke is doelbewus geselekteer en die deelnemers is deur middel van sneeubalseleksie geïdentifiseer. Data-insameling is deur middel van fokusgroepbesprekings en `n vraelys oor kennis van kindermishandeling in Maart 2009 gedoen. Die inhoud van die fokusgroep-besprekings is volgens voorafbepaalde temas geanaliseer. Die resultate dui daarop dat die deelnemers beperkte kennis van kindermishandeling het. Hulle het ook gesukkel om begrippe soos gestremdheid en kindermishandeling te definieer. Hulle was egter bewus daarvan dat mishandeling van gestremde kinders voorkom en kon vele voorbeelde uit eie ervaring opnoem. Volgens die data het deelnemers verskeie probleme met betrekking tot die aanmelding van kindermishandeling ervaar. Die probleme sluit onsekerheid oor wanneer mishandeling `n kriminele oortreding is, watter prosedure om te volg om mishandeling aan te meld, vrees vir die mishandelaar en sy/haar familie, vrees dat die gemeenskap hulle sal verwerp, asook onvoldoende ondersteuning van polisie en regssisteme in. Na aanleiding van die bevindinge word aanbeveel dat `n opvoedingsprogram oor gestremheid en kindermishandeling saamgestel en in die studiegemeenskappe geïmplimenteer word. Die program behhort op ouers en voogde van gestremde kinders sowel as op die breër gemeenskap te fokus. Deelnemers aan hierdie studie en bestaande gemeenskapsrehabilitasieprojekte kan genader word om die proses te bestuur. Voorts moet plaaslike en provinsiale regeringsverteenwoordigers van Gesondheid, Gemeenskaspontwikkeling, Opvoeding sowel as Veiligheid en Sekuriteit betrokke wees by die ontwikkeling, implementering en monitoring van die opleiding.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/20400
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